Wine-soaked popcorn latest trend in pricey, healthy snacking

NEW YORK, July 5 (UPI) —

A gourmet popcorn bar in New York combined two healthy foods into a trendy snack — wine-soaked popcorn, the artisan popcorn maker says.

Artisan popcorn maker Populence teamed up with the New Zealand winery Kim Crawford to create two new wine-soaked popcorn flavors: Pinot Noir Chocolate Drizzle and Sauvignon Blanc Kettle, ABC-News reported.

"I love combining organic heirloom and whole ingredients to create gourmet popcorn flavors. To me, the perfect snack satisfies both a sweet and salty crunch but remains low in calories, low in fat, and is gluten-free made with all-natural ingredients," Maggie Paulus, founder of Populence, said in a statement. "I began making my own gourmet popcorn flavors to satisfy my cravings in a healthy way."

The Sauvignon Blanc offers a zesty, lemony taste, while the Pinot Noir Chocolate Drizzle plays to the more indulgent. Both are meant to be paired with their respective wines, Paulus said.

A 1-gallon tin costs $28 in Populence’s retail store and $35 on its website, Paulus said.

Those who drink red wine in moderation seem to have a lower risk of heart disease.

A recent study by Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton reported popcorn contained more of the healthy antioxidant substances "polyphenols" than fruits and vegetables. Vinson and Michael G. Coco, an undergraduate chemistry major at The University of Scranton, said the polyphenols were more concentrated in popcorn, which averages only about 4 percent water, while polyphenols are diluted in the 90 percent water that makes up many fruits and vegetables.

However, Vinson pointed out that popcorn cannot replace fresh fruits and vegetables because they contain vitamins and other nutrients that are critical for good health but are missing from popcorn.